Simple, Cheap Pickup Winder

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by R. Stratenstein, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,911
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Location:
    Loganville, Ga.
    There are a couple of good pickup winding/winder threads going right now, guitarbuilder's "Lets Make a Pickup" and Barncaster's "A New Pickup Winder Scratch Build." They're both excellent resources for pickup winder ideas, and winding itself, too.

    I've been pretty impressed by Barncaster's research and implementation of a small DC motor powered winder, with the bobbin holder mounted directly to the motor shaft, and a variable voltage supply used to control speed. This does away with all the intermediate shafts, belts, pulleys, bearings and their need for precision alignment, plus saves a lot of space over the "classic" state of the art home made winders that use an old sewing machine.

    Problem is, although the DC motors are cheap enough on ebay ($6-$20 range, depending on voltage, shaft size, geared speed, etc.), the variable power supply is fairly expensive, in the $60-90 range. Several of the posts on Barncaster's thread asked about alternative designs, components, etc. to save some money.

    I thought of this idea too late to try it out myself, I already ordered the components similar to Barncaster's, but the idea occurred to me (don't remember if it was in the shower or not), what if it could be battery powered?:idea:

    Speed control is highly desirable for a smooth start, and running at a reasonable speed. A resistance type speed control (rheostat) would work, but really waste battery power, and kill batteries prematurely.

    My idea is to use multiple batteries linked in series to provide maximum voltage when all together, but tapped between each battery (1.5 volt batteries used), so that although there is not a continuously variable speed, there are 8 speed positions available, which in theory, could provide for a smooth, low-torque and non-wire-breaking startup, on up to full voltage. I used a 12 volt motor in my example, as the 16 batteries necessary to fully power a 24 volt motor seems a bit excessive, but could be done.

    In rough numbers, assuming the motor cost $10, you pay a buck each for Duracells (D size) there's $8 bucks, $5 bucks or so for the reversing switch (completely optional, though), and $15-$20 for the rotary switch (or make a simple blade-and button switch that looks like my diagram), the basic components as shown would cost you about $40., plus wires, some scrap wood to mount everything, etc. A while back I helped one of my sons do a science fair project and we used split PVC pipe with strips of "tin" cans superglued in for contacts, for low-cost battery holders. Or for not a heck of a lot more, you could buy them at Radio Shack, etc.

    I'm not sure about battery life. I don't think pickup winder motors have to work too terribly hard, and wouldn't demand a lot of current, but if it turns out that the batteries can't handle it, another 8 could be paralleled to the existing 8 to increase amperage capacity.

    Like I said, I've already ordered up the power supply and motor, so I'm going the more expensive route, but for those who are only going to wind a couple of pups (like we suspect we may have to for next years' Challenge), I think this could have potential for a low cost approach. Think it would work?:?:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    20,989
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    Cool... What about using ones that you can recharge or maybe a lantern battery for pedal to the metal? I am thinking once you know what your doing with this stuff, you are only winding about 10 minutes per pickup. Actually what about taking apart a rechargeable drill for the motor,chuck, and battery connections?
    This is variable up to 650 RPM or roughly 12.5 minutes per strat pickup.
    http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-...-00917191000P?&prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=L1
     
  3. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

    Posts:
    13,841
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    Del Floria's Tailor Shop
    Sewing machine, reed switch, calculator, carpet tape.
     
  4. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,911
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Location:
    Loganville, Ga.
    Seems like I read about rechargeable batteries not having a lot of "oomph" for some high-draw applications, but wouldnt hurt to try. I thought about lantern batteries for power, but part of what I was trying to accomplish was to establish several voltage points below max, to try and approximate as much as possible, a variable-voltage supply.

    Disassembling an electric drill is a possibility (or just using one as is, with a bobbin holder chucked in the chuck)--many of them are already rechargeable, have variable speed triggers (controls), and can be had for cheap on Craig's list, ebay, or even new 18-volt models from Harbor Freight at various times for around $20, including the charger.
     
  5. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,911
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Location:
    Loganville, Ga.
    Know what you're sayin, Fezz, no telling how many 1000's, maybe millions have been wound exactly like that. One of the things I was trying to address is the sloppy and sometimes jerky speed control of your typical sewing machine foot pedal. Not sure that my concept would be any smoother, but was just some blue-sky thinking for those who are interested in trying the DC motor approach as cheaply as possible.
     
  6. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    4,595
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Location:
    Queensland Australia
    I'd look at using a car battery and a trickle charger. You can leave the charger connected and operating if you wanted to as the battery will regulate the output voltage but this isn't really important for a dc motor as it only sees + and - voltages anyway.
    A resistive speed controller will work but will rapidly drain the battery, but if you can lay your hands on an "old style battery " with the exposed links between the 3V cells you can just tap onto those so you'd get 3 6 9 and 12volt output.

    I havent seen one of those batteries for years, all sealed plastic cases now. You'd probably have the battery charger anyway.

    A quality light dimmer will control a small AC motor as well.

    I'll stick to my $15 sewing machine. (Sunday market special!)
     
  7. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    8,912
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    SCR motor controllers are the ultimate in controlling DC motors and can be found in many types and maximum voltages. The ultimate in batteries (unless you've got a rich uncle to buy you some lithium ions) for such applications are 6volt golf cart types that can be hooked up in series for up to 36volts. Of course trolling motors and their batteries wouldn't be bad either. Depends on what's available to you in your walk of life. Heck, years ago Radio Shack had a project motor and controller that would be perfect :lol:
     
  8. Moldy Oldy

    Moldy Oldy Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    339
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Mission Viejo, CA
    I've never used one, but this seems like the ticket for cheap, easy speed controller.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-DC-5-30...839?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27c93fa47f

    I don't think the 8-speed idea will work very well because you need to be able to increase/decrease the speed gently. I think you would break the wire every time you bump the speed up to the next notch... Or at least I would. The wire is pretty easy to break, especially when you're just getting started.
     
  9. jimdkc

    jimdkc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    2,256
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Independence, MO
    A variable DC supply need not be expensive. I've been thinking about using either a wall wart or a laptop computer power supply feeding a simple voltage controller.

    Here's a very simple circuit that I've drawn up. Very basic. No frills. Cheap. (Note... This is an initial design, it hasn't been tested. Posted here only as an example. Use at your own risk!):

    [​IMG]

    However, I've been eyeballing those Ebay PWM controllers, too.
     
  10. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,957
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Northern California
    Ah Yes,

    I love to see the mad professors at work!

    Rob
     
  11. jimdkc

    jimdkc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    2,256
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Independence, MO
    bwaaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaaa!!!!!!!

    ^^^ (that was supposed to be all caps... the forum sofware "fixed" it for me!)
     
  12. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,829
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Location:
    Athens, GA
    Most cars use a pack of resistors to control the blower motor speed. And automotive electrical motors are 12v/dc. And you can buy a basic Ford or GM blower motor fairly cheap from a parts store or junkyard. Use a 12v drill battery for the power source. Worth a try, maybe.

    Another thought is that you may be able to use a cell phone charger, or some other type of plug-in power adapter as a power source. They all have the specs listed on them. I've gone through my dad's junk drawer and found a couple that worked for powering pedals.

    I was given an old sewing machine to use as a winder recently. Been too occupied with other projects to fool with it any.
     
  13. Warem

    Warem Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    Here is a couple pictures of my winder. Very simple, but totally controllable.
    Parts:
    Cheap drill.
    Calculator
    Reed switch + magnet
    12 v motorcyckle battery.
    Wheel collars from rc aeoroplane and a shaft for guiding the wire.

    For speed controlling I simply mounted the original push button (Right word?) in an old Ikea box. And screw it in or out from the front. Works like a charm :)
    Takes aproximatly 20 minutes to wind one coil, thats due to the limit of speed the calculator can "reed" the impulses from the reed switch. The drill is actually faster.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,957
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Northern California
    Nice Warem!

    I tried the calculator but quickly grew frustrated with the dance of constantly controlling the surging of the AC motor to keep the RPMs slow enough to keep the calculator counting. The used Red Lion Cub counters are so cheap on eBay and work so well I don't know why everyone here doesn't use them. I just bought one there for $10!

    Rob
     
  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    20,989
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    I like the chuck idea for holding the flatwork...well done!
     
  16. Warem

    Warem Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    Very good tips barncaster. I might upgrade to that one.
    I just used some old junk I had laying around when I made it. I got the feel for how fast I can wind before the calculator starts dancing, so its work ok if you are not in too much of a hurry.
    Anyway: your tip seems perfect. I will upgrade :)
     
  17. Warem

    Warem Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    Thanks Builder.
    When winding my first pups I learned everything from this fine mans site :http://behindthetone.com/johnfisher/
    Here is also a snapshot of the winder in action.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Pacific Picker

    Pacific Picker TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    41
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Personally, batteries will have to be replaced at some point down the line. I too wanted a simple, small, DC winder that would be cheap. I got all my parts from radio shack. I use a DC power supply (a Danelectro wall wart for the vintage type tone) and a 12V DC motor. The power is controlled by an On/Off/On DPDT swith (so that you can do reverse windings just by flipping the switch. There is a resistor to lower the power to the motor (was spinning way too fast) and a rheostat for speed control.

    It still starts a little fast, but, it is not strong enough to break 42 AWG wire. I haven't tried 43. The other benefit is that it is quieter than a sewing machine. I can sit and wind while watching TV and not annoy my wife who also wants to watch.
     
  19. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,911
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Location:
    Loganville, Ga.


    I have achieved my evil intent !!!:twisted::twisted:


    Lot of great ideas presented here. Love to see as many of them as possible tried and refined before we get to next years' Challenge.
    And who knows, there may be an as-of-yet unfound, unbelievably perfect solution waiting out there to be thought up and presented.

    If Paul doesn't require winding-yer-own, I think we should demand it, don't you?
    :D
     
  20. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,957
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Northern California
    Hey Rick,

    We could again have beginners and advanced classes where advanced would have to wind pickups and beginners could buy. It's all up to the Great and Mysterious Oz.

    Rob
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.